- Nana (TV-MA) season one is available on iTunes exclusively until August 31, 2009. The first season (11 episodes) can be purchased for $19.99, or you can buy episodes individually for $1.99 each. If you buy the first season, you get episode 11.5 (a recap episode) free. You cannot buy episode 11.5 except as part of the season package. All episodes appear to be dubbed.
- Honey and Clover (TV-14) season one is available on iTunes. The first episode is FREE, until August 31, 2009. The first season (12 episodes) can be purchased for $19.99, or you can buy episodes individually for $1.99 each. Episode 13 is available as “Bonus Episode L” and comes free with the season package, but cannot be purchased otherwise. All episodes appear to be dubbed.
- I find it a litte odd that episode 13 in the regular continuity is being offered ONLY as a bonus episode, although as far as I can tell it's not an episode that adds a lot of plot to the series.
So, I sat back and picked up the first episode of each show. Here are my thoughts, sort of mini-”first dates,” if you will, for those of you not already familiar with the franchises.
The two separate and we mostly follow Nana K.-- Nana O. is supposed to be more mysterious –but the two meet again by sheer accident at an apartment. At first the two prepare for a potential fight over the place, but then realize that they can save money if they just agree to live together. The show is very heavy on music, for obvious reasons, and the OP sequence “rose" is pretty badass. The dub is also pretty decent, although Nana O.'s voice reminds me a lot of Jane from Daria. I am glad that Nana K. doesn't sound like a complete airhead, which would be the obvious temptation in her comedic moments.
All in all, it's a rockin', slightly adult soap opera filled with the kinds of things that actually do pop up in our real lives. Except with more rock stars.
Honey and Clover's opening sequence made me really hungry, because it's all food. In spite of that, the show is about a bunch of kids in art school. It's a slice of life show, so I can't give you a strong plot summary, but the cast of characters includes the slacker Shinobu, upright Takumi, innocent first-year Yuuta, ceramic goddess Ayumi, goofy teacher Shuuji Hanamoto, and his young cousin, Hagu.
Hagu is basically the reason why I have trouble getting into Honey and Clover. She looks like she's eight, but is supposed to be 18. And not like, “she's 18, we promise! *wink nudge*!” 18, nor a stylistically young appearance that's consistent with other females. She just looks inexplicably young. And almost immediately one of the guys falls for her. It just..weirds me out a bit.
The dub is okay, although I got pretty irritated with the “tah-KOO-mee” pronunciation pretty quick, and the visuals can be a little bit bright but low-contrast, making it feel a little airy. Other than that, though, no major complaints. The humor is cute, but this is more slice-of-life than comedy, so don't watch it hoping to crack up every thirty seconds. The characters are strong, though, and their stories may appeal to you.